I love pineapples. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and welcome especially in the south. I learned this very early on from my mother. Imagine my delight when my daughter painted a pineapple suncatcher. When we hung it in our window I knew I was making Southern Living magazine proud! When I walk by this pineapple each day, I am reminded of important lessons that God teaches us about hospitality towards others.
First, be "red"y! We should always be willing to show hospitality to those we encounter. Part of being ready is making sure that we are asking God to bless us with opportunities to share his love with others. It is also paying attenion to who we encounter each day and what their needs are that we can attempt to meet. It is also realizing that there are various needs to be met. Some are physical needs but others are emotional. Hospitality is not always monetarily costly. It could just cost our time and heart. We must be willing to put others needs before our own desires and wants when we are striving to be welcoming and hospitable like the Lord. Hey! It may even involve letting other people sit in your pew on a Sunday morning. I'm just sayin'.
Second, be hospitable with a smile. When we are taking the time to serve others, we must make sure we are doing so with a positive attitude. If we are helping others out, but we complain the whole time, we are not actually demonstrating the love of God at all. Being hospitable can be difficult. Make sure you take the time for an attitude check throughout the process.
Third, be sneaky when you can! My favorite part of the pineapple suncatcher my daughter painted is the wink on its face. It seems just a little sneaky as it stares back at me with a wink and a smile. God does not call u to love others in a way that calls attention to ourselves. As you welcome others and demonstrate hospitality, remember that it is not to show others just how great YOU are! Anytime you can follow through on helping others out without being noticed, do so! Just imagine a little pineapple winking at you. Remember, we worship a God who knows all things. We do not need everyone else to know them also ;-).
May you show some Southern charm this week and let your inner pineapple shine.
May you look for ways to show God's love and hospitality to those around you who need it!
"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me."